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THEATER
BEGINS HERE

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Founded in 1971 by five writers seeking artistic and professional support, Playwrights’ Center today serves more playwrights in more ways than any other organization in the country.


One of the nation’s most generous and well-respected theater organizations, Playwrights’ Center focuses on both supporting playwrights and promoting new plays to production at theaters across the country. The Center has helped launch the careers of numerous nationally recognized artists, notably Daniel Alexander Jones, Lee Blessing, Carlyle Brown, Sheila Callaghan, Karl Gadjusek, Marcus Gardley, Idris Goodwin, Sarah Gubbins, Jordan Harrison, Jeffrey Hatcher, Craig Lucas, Martyna Majok, Melanie Marnich, Qui Nguyen, Kira Obolensky, and August Wilson. Work developed through Center programs has been seen nationwide on such stages as The Guthrie, Lincoln Center Theater, New York Theater Workshop, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Steppenwolf, The Public, Woolly Mammoth, and many others.

 

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PROGRAMS & SERVICES

Core Writer Program

The Core Writer Program gives 25-30 of the most exciting playwrights from across the country the time and tools to develop new work for the stage. All Core Writers receive play development workshops at the Center, in collaboration with prominent directors, actors, dramaturgs, and designers. Selected work by Core Writers makes up our formal season of public readings: the PlayLabs festival and the Ruth Easton New Play Series. Core Writers are also promoted by the Center and provided opportunities through an extensive network of colleges and universities, cultural institutions, and producing theaters.

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Fellowships

Our partner-funded Fellowships provide more than $315,000 each year for residencies, commissions, and development funds. Through these Fellowships, Playwrights’ Center functions as a home for:

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Membership

Membership is open to all and provides over 2,500 playwrights worldwide with tools, resources, and support. Benefits include a database of playwriting opportunities, online and in-person seminars and classes, access to readings with professional actors, dramaturgical services, and more. In addition, Playwrights’ Center’s New Plays on Campus program partners with dozens of colleges and universities nationwide to provide services to student playwrights.

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Local & National Partnerships

Our partnerships elevate the role of living playwrights. The Center works with several theaters each year to develop work for their stages. Recent collaborations include partnerships with Denver Center on Idris Goodwin’s Victory Jones and the Incredible One Woman Band, Marin Theatre Company on Carson Kreitzer’s Lasso of Truth, Mixed Blood on Aditi Kapil’s Brahman(i) and Shiv, Pillsbury House Theatre on Tracey Scott Wilson’s Buzzer, and The Walker Art Center and Elevator Repair Service on Sibyl Kempson’s Fondly, Collette Richland. The Center also flies in 10-15 artistic leaders each year to meet writers and hear their work. The Regulars program brings together a group of nearly 100 producing theaters in the United States who seek the support of the Center in order to meet new writers, develop their work, and move them into production.

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Join & shape the future

Join a community of supporters who believe in the power of playwrights and theater makers.

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SEASON<br>BOOKLET

SEASON
BOOKLET

Annual reports
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Annual reports

‘19
‘20
Annual reports
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Annual reports

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‘19
01 MISSION
02 VISION
03 VALUES
04 WHAT WE DO
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01

MISSION

Playwrights’ Center sustains, develops, and advocates for playwrights and their work to realize their full artistic potential.

02

VISION

Through the practice of inclusive theater-making, Playwrights’ Center fosters engagement towards an equitable, empathetic, and boundlessly imaginative world.

03

VALUES

Centering Artists

We believe in the crucial role that playwrights and theater makers play in witnessing the past, illuminating the present, and dreaming us forward. Our work is grounded in the needs, desires, and sustainability of the artists we support, prioritizing long-term artistic relationships.

Adaptability

We recognize that playwriting processes are as diverse as the human beings pursuing them. We evolve our perspectives, practices, resources, and partnerships in order to stay relevant and responsive to artists’ needs.

Equity

We continually interrogate our relationship to the word equity. We support artists across all spectrums, with an emphasis on underrepresented and under-supported voices. We aim to uproot systemic inequities that inhibit creativity, and focus on building new systems that center meaningful financial compensation. We understand this work to be intersectional and long-term, grounded in relationships and evolving anti-racist practices.

Inclusivity + Accessibility

We proactively engage and welcome people of all abilities, ages, cultures, ethnicities, genders, incomes, races, religions, and sexual orientations. We intentionally engage artists locally, nationally, and internationally, working across a multitude of processes and aesthetics.

Advocacy

We fight for a theater field in which playwrights and theater makers not only survive but thrive. We are committed to modeling how institutions can authentically support the art of storytelling, and connect artists’ work to audiences around the globe.

04

WHAT WE DO

From our Center in Minneapolis/Saint Paul, we serve 2,500+ playwrights and theater makers across the United States and internationally, representing a vast array of identities, experience levels, aesthetics, and relationships to the professional theater field.

Our programs fall into four primary focus areas:

Individualized Artist Support

Our fellowships and residency opportunities provide highly tailored artistic, financial, administrative, and networking support structures for playwrights and theater makers who are pursuing their creative processes as careers. Some of our programs are specific to Minnesota residents, while others are open to artists nationally and internationally.

New Play Development

We foster a supportive, artist-led laboratory space where playwrights and theater makers can test new ideas, immerse themselves in the creative process, and share work in progress with audiences. Through customized workshops, dramaturgical support, and a growing coalition with producing theaters, we nurture scripts and collaborations into being.

Community & Educational Resources

We gather an expansive network of playwrights and theater makers—from first-time writers and students to seasoned professionals—who continually exchange, learn from, and uplift each other’s work. Our robust slate of educational opportunities includes in-person workshops, online seminars, master classes, accredited university courses, and more. We curate the world’s largest online database of play submission opportunities, offer script feedback services, and provide other craft-, career-, and community-building initiatives.

Amplification & Connection

We are committed to supporting playwrights and theatermakers beyond their participation in Playwrights’ Center programs by promoting their work for production and nurturing an ecology of artist-to-artist and artist-to-audience relationships. Central to this work is the ongoing cultivation of partnerships with theaters and community organizations across the globe.

LAND
ACKNOWLEDGMENT

The Playwrights’ Center acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Dakota People and we also honor the Anishinaabeg (Ojibwe) People of this land. We offer our gratitude to this land for the privilege of gathering and sharing stories, and for the work of Native and Indigenous activists—past, present, and future—who steward this land and challenge us to be partners rather than owners of this land. Playwrights’ Center is working to decolonize our spaces and practices, to remove systemic barriers faced by Native people, and to move toward addressing reconciliation.

As we gather virtually via the internet, a service unavailable in many Indigenous communities, we at Playwrights’ Center reaffirm our commitment to learning how best we can continue to advocate alongside our Native communities, and we invite each of you to do the same and to learn about and support some of the incredible Native organizations here in the Twin Cities.